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Tencent plans to introduce in-game contracts between parents and kids

Tencent plans to introduce in-game contracts between parents and kids

March 6, 2018 | By Chris Kerr

Chinese game maker Tencent has been getting some bad press on home soil, namely because its hit mobile MOBA Honor of Kings is proving a little too popular with kids -- with some even buying fake IDs to circumvent the game's age restrictions. 

It's a development that's left some parents and teachers concerned about game addiction, so to quell those fears the mobile outfit now intends to introduce in-game contracts between parents and children, letting them hash out terms for playtime. 

As reported by The Wall Street Journal, the new feature would give parents another way to control how much time their children spend playing, letting them dish out playtime in exchange for doing chores or completing homework. 

"With the proposed feature, children can exchange their playing time by doing housework or reaching certain [academic] scores," explained Tencent chief executive Ma Huateng. "Children can ask their friends to witness the signing of the contract."

In theory, it'll mean parents won't have to worry about their children prioritizing the game, which currently has over 200 million users in China, over their real-world pursuits. 

Of course, Tencent has already implemented time and age-restrictions to ensure the youth can't overindulge, and (as the ID debacle shows) it's fair to say the results were mixed. 

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